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Anybody who earns an income and depends on it to live needs individual disability insurance, even if you’re working from the comfort of your home.
I Don’t Need Disability Insurance, Do I?
If you run an online business from your home, you probably feel fairly insulated these days.
Your business likely stayed open while COVID-19 forced the shutdown of much of the economy. You continued to generate regular income.
Your physical health wasn’t at risk to the extent of people who had to regularly be around others. Social distancing and self-isolation are not difficult when you rarely have to leave home.
Even in non-pandemic times, your stay-at-home business is relatively safe. No commuting. No workplace accidents. And it’s not like sitting in front of a computer all day is so strenuous that you can’t work through a minor injury or illness.
So if the prospect of buying disability insurance is raised, you might think, “Why bother?”
Here’s why anybody who earns an income and depends on it to live needs individual disability insurance, even if you’re working from the comfort of your home.
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How Disability Insurance Protects You
Disability insurance protects you if injury or illness limits your ability to work. It pays you a portion of your income while you are disabled.
Without it, a bad accident, loss of vision, chronic condition, or illness could cause financial hardship. While your health insurance will help cover your treatment, there’s little else available to replace the income you’re not earning during recovery. Even a temporary disability can cause you to deplete your savings, fall behind on bills, and rack up debt.
The Myths of Disabilities
Some people think of disabilities only in terms of catastrophic events like paralysis. But insurance industry statistics show that only 9 to 10 percent of long-term disabilities result from serious accidents.
Most disabilities that cause people to miss work are due to more common ailments. According to Unum, the top five causes of short-term disability claims in 2018 were:
- Joint disorders
- Digestive system
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The top five long-term disability causes were:
- Back disorders
- Cardiovascular disease
- Joint disorder
In the past 10 years, long-term claims for joint disorders have risen 30 percent, musculoskeletal issues have increased by 35 percent. Cancer has been the top cause of long-term disability for more than a decade.
You’re Not as Safe as You May Think
You may also feel like a stay-at-home business prevents you from suffering workplace injuries, lessening your risk of disability. This is also inaccurate. Nearly 90 percent of disabilities are not work-related. Even if you had a more dangerous job, your odds of suffering a workplace disability are slim.
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Another common cause of disability claims is mental disorders. According to the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA), about 26 percent of adults are diagnosed with one or more mental disorders in a year, and they account for nearly 10 percent of long-term disabilities. There may be even more disability claims caused by mental illness resulting from COVID-19, which has led to isolation, loneliness, stress, and financial hardships.
Speaking of COVID-19, disability insurance also offers protection in the event you contract the virus and are unable to work due to its physical toll. Many individuals have suffered weeks of fatigue and other ailments that prevent or greatly limit their ability to work. More serious cases have resulted in hospitalizations.
Again, while health insurance can help with the cost of treatment, losing income from COVID-19 can become an even greater financial burden. Plus, how will you continue paying the premium on your health insurance if you don’t have income for an extended period?
Additional Reasons to Consider Disability Insurance
Here are a few additional considerations when weighing the need for disability insurance as a stay-at-home business:
- As an independent worker, you don’t have paid vacation or sick days. If you can’t work, there’s no way you’ll continue earning an income. That’s why disability insurance for self-employed workers is essential.
- If you suffer an injury or illness that affects your ability to work, you’re likely to be disabled for an extended period. The average disability claim lasts between 2.5 and 3 years.
- Do you have enough in savings to maintain your income or even pay your bills for even six months while you recover from a disability? Even if you do, would you want to deplete those savings?
- If you’re young and healthy, you may consider waiting until you’re more at risk to buy disability insurance. It will never be as more affordable as it is now. The cost of disability insurance increases as you age. Plus, health conditions you incur later in life can increase the cost of or even disqualify you from getting disability coverage.
- The government will not be of much help. You could qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if you’re unable to work. However, there are a number of restrictions, including income and the seriousness of your condition. If you’re fortunate enough to qualify, your monthly benefit will fall well short of covering your needs. The average monthly benefit is around $1,200.
Now is an ideal time to protect your income in the event the hazards of the outside world affect your ability to make a living on your own. There are a number of disability insurance options for home-based business owners. You can typically find an option to fit your budget and that fits with your profession and lifestyle.
The easiest way to do so is with Breeze, where you can get personalized long term disability insurance quotes and apply for coverage online in as little as 10 minutes. That’s just about as quick and convenient as it gets.